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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116

URI Nurse-Midwifery graduates say program delivers on all levels

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 23, 2002 -- Three spring graduates of the University of Rhode Island Graduate Program in Nurse-Midwifery say they were welcomed, challenged and ultimately well prepared for the world of women’s, pre-natal and post-natal health.
Maureen Morrow of Tiverton completed the 46-credit hour program in May and began work last month at Advanced Women’s Health in Taunton, Mass. She will be doing deliveries at Morton Hospital in Taunton.

The married mother of two little girls said she is very pleased with her midwifery education at URI.

"The faculty provide a great deal of student-professor contact, and the professors get to know all of us very well, our strengths and weaknesses," Morrow said. "They look at new students very impartially, whether they are experienced in labor and delivery or whether they have general nursing experience. They tailor programs to each of our needs. The summer before you begin the program, you get to take a course called ‘bridges to midwifery’, which gets you ready for the hospital setting, the terms and the environment. That was a great program for me."

Since she passed the national certifying exam, she is qualified to practice anywhere in the country. "Our entire class took the exam and passed on the first attempt," said Morrow, who holds a bachelor’s degree in health administration from the University of New Hampshire and nursing diploma at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester.

Morrow’s fellow classmate, Mary Haley, also gives URI high marks.

"The URI program is great," said the Scituate resident who has been a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician and firefighter with the Hope-Jackson Fire Department.

A 1996 Rhode Island College nursing graduate, she has also worked at Rhode Island Hospital, all while she and her husband have been raising three children – 4 years old, 2 and 5 months.

"The URI program was great from the minute I walked in the door," she said. "You knew you were going to be accepted and you knew you were going to be great at it."

She said the faculty members paid particular attention to students’ weaker areas, and drove them to excel.

As she prepares to enter the midwifery world, she is also thinking about providing home births, an option that, according to Haley, "many Rhode Island women are expressing interest in."

Kiersten Crawford, another of the spring graduates, got her first job as a midwife as a result of her last clinical placement through URI.

"What was an additional bonus was that I did my integration, the last clinical experience before graduation, with OB-Gyn Associates in Providence. "Then they hired me," said the Cranston resident who earned her bachelor’s in nursing from Simmons College.

A former nurse in the newborn-intensive care unit of Women and Infants, said URI provided a comprehensive experience."

"I thought the program was fantastic, and the faculty support was phenomenal," Crawford said. "Maureen, Mary and I had never done labor and delivery nursing, and they just coached us along."

She credits the program with giving its students exposure to underserved populations in urban settings around the state. "URI has picked clinical settings where we get a good sense of who is out there and who needs us."

She said many in Rhode Island don’t know URI has a graduate program in midwifery. "But they should know URI has excellent programs and that students at other graduate midwifery programs are envious of our program because of its commitment to student-faculty interaction."

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